Singapore declaration of ILO
GS Paper: 2- International treaties and agreements
Prelims exam: Singapore declaration
Mains exam: Singapore declaration, International Labour Organisation
Why in News?
The 17th Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting of the International Labour Organisation (APRM of ILO) set ten-point priorities of national action for the member countries to deal with the issue of dwindling wages of workers, inflation and unemployment.
- It aims to raise awareness of the need for member nations to address the problems of dwindling worker salaries, inflation, and unemployment.
- The delegates who represented regional governments, employers, and labour unanimously decided to adopt it.
- Members concurred that social dialogue is crucial for addressing labour market issues and figuring out how to deal with crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and the current economic situation.
Key point priorities
The “Singapore Declaration”, which was adopted in Singapore by the delegates representing governments, employers and workers’ governments, employers and workers in the regions, agreed that social dialogue is essential to address labour market challenges and finding solutions in crisis situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and economic uncertainty.
- The declaration said social dialogue is key to building trust, and resilient labour market institutions are essential to sustained recovery and inclusive and sustainable growth, and need to be strengthened in the regions.
- It urged the governments to ensure labour protection for all through the promotion of freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining throughout the regions, including for workers in vulnerable situations and workers in the informal economy, as enabling rights for decent work.
- “Governments and social partners should urgently take effective measures to address allegations of serious violations of these rights,” the declaration said.
- “Recognising that strong and representative organisations of workers and employers play an important role in building and sustaining inclusive societies and are fundamental to achieving social justice and decent work and that the social partners in some countries do not have the capacity, mechanisms or freedom to contribute effectively to policy development and discussion, the capacities and skills of employer and worker representatives, and of governments must be strengthened.
- It urged the governments to ensure labour protection for all through the promotion of freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining throughout the regions, including for workers in vulnerable situations and workers in the informal economy, as enabling rights for decent work. “Governments and social partners should urgently take effective measures to address allegations of serious violations of these rights.
- It called for closing gender gaps in the world of work through measures that increase women’s labour force participation, promote equal pay for work of equal value, balance work and responsibilities, and promoting women’s leadership. It suggested that governments must develop and implement inclusive labour market programmes and policies that support life transitions and demographic shifts.
- The declaration also urged the governments to strengthen governance frameworks and respect for freedom of association to protect the rights of migrant workers, including improved accommodation, protection of wages and extension of social protection and, where appropriate, through enhanced bilateral labour migration agreements between both sending and receiving countries. “Tripartite mechanisms should help promote cooperation between constituents to mitigate negative impacts and harness opportunities that arise from labour migration.
- It wanted the governments to facilitate the transition to peace, security and decent work in situations of crisis. “Recognise the impact of climate change and develop through tripartite committees’ national plans for a just transition that help build environmentally sustainable economies and societies, based on meaningful and effective social dialogue, taking into account policies regarding the labour market, regulated labour migration, coordinated labour mobility, and social protection.
- It urged to the member countries to strengthen the foundation for social and employment protection and resilience, including expanding social protection to all workers, guaranteeing universal access to comprehensive, adequate and sustainable social protection for all, with a particular focus on extending protection to workers in the informal economy.
Election security deposit
GS Paper: 2- Representation of People’s Act
Prelims exam: Election deposit
Why in News?
In the assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, a political party with headquarters in New Delhi lost the election deposits for the majority of its candidates.
What is an election security deposit?
- An election security deposit is an amount that is to be deposited with the Returning Officer when a candidate files their nomination.
- This is to be submitted either in cash, or a receipt must be enclosed with the nomination paper, showing that the said sum has been deposited on the candidate’s behalf in the Reserve Bank of India or in a Government Treasury.
- The main purpose of this practice is to ensure that only genuinely intending candidates end up filing the nomination to be a part of the electoral process.
Is the amount same for all elections?
No, it depends on the particular election being conducted, and the Representation of the People Act of 1951 mentions different amounts depending on the level of election:
- In the case of an election from a Parliamentary constituency, meaning a Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha seat, the amount is Rs 25,000 and Rs 12,500 for a Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST) candidate.
- In the case of an election from an Assembly or Council constituency, meaning at the level of legislative bodies in the states, it is Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 for an SC/ST candidate.
- Even in the case of Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections, a deposit of Rs 15,000 is to be made.
When is a candidate said to ‘lose’ their security deposit?
- As per the same Act, the deposit has to be forfeited at an election if the number of valid votes polled by the candidate is less than 1/6th of the total number of valid votes polled.
- Or, in the case of the election of more than one member, it would be 1/6th of the total number of valid votes so polled divided by the number of members to be elected.
- This refers to elections by proportional representation method, as is the case in Rajya Sabha.
- If the candidate does meet the threshold, “the deposit shall be returned as soon as practicable after the result of the election is declared.”
- If a candidate withdraws their nomination or passes away before the polls, the amount is returned.
GS Paper: 3- Conservation
Prelims exam: Meizotropis pellita, Fritilloria cirrhosa, Dactylorhiza hatagirea
Mains exam: Importance of medicinal plant species
Why in News?
Three medicinal plant species located in the Himalayas have made it to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species following a recent assessment.
Status of species which have been assessed-
- Meizotropis pellita : ‘Critically Endangered’
- Fritilloria cirrhosa : ‘Vulnerable’
- Dactylorhiza hatagirea : ‘Endangered’
- It is commonly referred to as “Patwa,” this perennial shrub is indigenous to Uttarakhand and has a small geographic range.
- Due of the species’ small range, it is considered “critically endangered” (less than 10 sq. km)
- Deforestation, habitat fragmentation, and forest fires pose threats to the species.
- The essential oil extracted from the leaves of the species possesses powerful antioxidants and can be a viable natural substitute for synthetic antioxidants in pharmaceutical industries.
- It is reasonable to assume that during the assessment period, its population decreased by at least 30% (22 to 26 years).
- The species is classified as “vulnerable” because of its rapid rate of decline, lengthy generation duration, poor germination potential, high trade value, heavy harvesting pressure, and illicit trading.
- The species is used to cure pneumonia and bronchial disorders in China.
- In conventional Chinese medicine, the herb is also a powerful expectorant and cough suppressant.
- It is commonly known as Salampanja and habitat loss, livestock grazing, deforestation, and climate change are threats to it.
- It is often used to treat dysentery, gastritis, chronic fever, cough, and stomach aches in Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani, and other complementary medical systems.
- The Hindu Kush and Himalayan ranges in Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan are home to this perennial tuberous species.
What is The IUCN Red List?
- It was established in 1964. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species.
- The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity. Far more than a list of species and their status, it is a powerful tool to inform and catalyze action for biodiversity conservation and policy change, critical to protecting the natural resources we need to survive.
- It provides information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, use and/or trade, threats, and conservation actions that will help inform necessary conservation decisions.
IUCN Red List Categories
- The IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria are intended to be an easily and widely understood system for classifying species at high risk of global extinction.
- It divides species into nine categories: Not Evaluated, Data Deficient, Least Concern, Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered, Extinct in the Wild and Extinct.
GS Paper: 3- Science and technology
Prelims exam: Ramjet and scramjet engines
Why in News?
In order to launch satellites into a predetermined orbit at a reasonable price, the ISRO successfully tested reliable next-generation air-breathing scramjet engines.
What is jet engine?
- A jet engine is a type of reaction engine discharging a fast-moving jet of heated gas (usually air) that generates thrust by jet propulsion.
- A plane is propelled forward by the thrust from one or more engines, forcing air past its aerodynamically shaped wings to produce lift, which propels it into the air.
Ramjet vs. scramjet
- Ramjet and scramjet are both varieties of jet engines.
- Ramjets are air-breathing jet engines that are frequently used for supersonic transport.
- Ramjets are unable to start at zero velocity and cannot produce thrust because there is not enough airspeed. Ramjets can only start at supersonic speeds.
- Therefore, it requires assisted takeoff aircraft or rockets to drive it to supersonic speeds, from where it begins to produce thrust.
- Ramjet engines can accelerate to speeds of approximately Mach 6, which limits their efficiency to supersonic speeds.
- Over the years, Ramjet has revolutionized both rocket propulsion and missile technology.
How Scramjet is different?
- The Scramjet, also known as the Supersonic Combustion Ramjet, is a more intricate design that operates effectively at hypersonic speeds, usually upwards of Mach 6.
- Since the air entering is already at a high pressure, they don’t have any moving parts to compress the air.
- Scramjets operate very similarly to ramjets, with the exception that combustion also occurs at supersonic speed.
- This indicates that as pressurised air enters the combustion chamber, it does not slow down.
Trisonic Wind Tunnel
GS Paper: 3- Science and technology
Prelims exam: Trisonic Wind Tunnel
Why in News?
The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) completed the first blow down test of the newly installed Trisonic Wind Tunnel at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), the space agency’s lead rocket-building agency.
What is a Wind Tunnel?
- Wind tunnels are large tubes with air blowing through them which are used to replicate the interaction between air and an object flying through the air or moving along the ground.
- Researchers use wind tunnels to learn more about how an aircraft will fly.
- NASA uses wind tunnels to test scale models of aircraft and spacecraft.
- Some wind tunnels are large enough to contain full-size versions of vehicles.
- The wind tunnel moves air around an object, making it seem as if the object is flying.
How Wind Tunnel works?
- Most of the time, large powerful fans suck air through the tube. The object being tested is held securely inside the tunnel so that it remains stationary.
- The object can be an aerodynamic test object such as a cylinder or an airfoil, an individual component, a small model of the vehicle, or a full-sized vehicle.
- The air moving around the stationary object shows what would happen if the object was moving through the air.
- The motion of the air can be studied in different ways; smoke or dye can be placed in the air and can be seen as it moves around the object.
- Coloured threads can also be attached to the object to show how the air moves around it. Special instruments can often be used to measure the force of the air exerted against the object.
About Trisonic Wind Tunnel
- The Trisonic Wind Tunnel is a system to aid aerodynamic design of rockets and re-entry spacecrafts by characterizing a scaled model by evaluating forces, moments, load distribution, unsteady pressures, acoustic levels etc.
- The tunnel has an overall length of about 160m and has a maximum cross section of 5.4m. The tunnel can be used for testing various space vehicles in three flight regimes – below the speed of sound, at the speed of sound and above the speed of sound: hence the name trisonic wind tunnel.
- The tunnel can simulate flight conditions from 0.2 times the speed of sound (68 m/s) to 4 times the speed of sound (1360 m/s).